Today, I’m happy to introduce you to another new author, Christina Thompson. I hooked up with Christina on Twitter and was soon deeply immersed in her mystery thriller, CHEMICAL ATTRACTION. As someone who loves a book that keeps me guessing and enjoys strong secondary characters (in addition to the H/h) I was happy to learn Christina has a planned series. YAY!
Christina, please share a bit about yourself and tell us how long you’ve been writing.
Thank you for hosting me as I promote my thriller, Chemical Attraction. I’ve recently retired after twenty years as a massage therapist and ten years as an acupuncturist. My newest passion is writing fiction. I’ve written numerous research papers and reports in college and grad school. However, the idea of writing novels is a fairly new one, almost seven years now. I enjoy outlining, writing, and editing; and I’m starting to get the hang of the marketing and promoting parts. I’ve met some wonderful people on this journey. Thank you again, Mae, for your support.
Delighted, Christina! And I completely agree with you about the people you meet on the journey. The writing/reading community is wonderful, with so many willing to help. When you finish a novel, how closely would you say the end product resembles your original concept — 100%? 50%? Something else entirely?
I’d say 70% of my outline resembles the finished product. I plot the major points first with a few transitional sections, but that other 30% changes when my characters decide to take a different route. I usually listen and give in. It’s their story after all.
Characters always get the upper hand, LOL! Which do you develop first, character or plot?
That’s a “Chicken or Egg” kind of question. In general, I have the characters and plot in mind when I start. Then, the plot fleshes out a deeper understanding of the characters while the characters push for intriguing dimensions of the plot.
Great answer! What was the most interesting item you discovered in your research?
The U.S. government underwrites research in nanotechnology for about a billion dollars a year, but only a small percentage of it goes into health and safety concerns. These nano-particles can be useful, but it also makes them potentially dangerous. We still don’t know all the ways they affect our body’s chemistry. It’s fascinating and terrifying.
I was surprised by a lot of the revelations in your book and intrigued by the science. Fiction spun from fact makes amazing reading. Which do you find easier to write and why – description or dialogue?
Dialogue is easier for me to write because I know my characters and their backstories so well. Description is a challenge. I’m constantly wondering if I’m putting too much or not enough of it into the story.
Which character did you enjoy writing the most and why?
FBI Agent Joe Roberts is my favorite. He was a secondary character in a short story I wrote a long time ago. (It’s the prequel to Chemical Attraction.) He stayed in my head until I gave him his own story. On the surface, Joe’s a player. Deeper down, he’s searching for his soul mate, the one person who will love him for his faults, not in spite of them.
Very well said. And I thought Joe was a great character. Without giving too much away, please share a bit about your favorite scene.
Madeline finally explains why she called the FBI. Needing the privacy, they discuss the case in his room at the Bed & Breakfast owned by Madeline’s Aunt Sylvia. Their conversation is professional, but they’re clearly attracted to each other. Testing Joe’s restraint, Madeline seductively stretches out on his bed. He looks at everything in the room but her. I love how it plays out. I think that scene propels the story forward not only with the science angle but with Joe’s struggle between his personal desire and his professional integrity.
I loved that scene and remember it vividly. Madeline was great in the way she interacted with Joe.
Share only one sentence –yes, only one! –of dialogue or description you love.
“Don’t make decisions for me,” Madeline replied, following Joe’s lead on the dance floor.
Nice! Do you have any guilty pleasures you’d like to share?
In this story and its sequel, I reference various songs -the ones David plays with his band, the one Joe and Madeline dance to, their karaoke selections, and others. Well, I have a playlist with all of them, in order. It’s silly, but it makes me happy. My husband just rolls his eyes whenever I hit play.
I love when you can connect songs to a story. A former critique partner (she passed away) and I used to create CDs for each of our WIPs. It was fun to do.
Name a book that had a profound effect on you and explain why.
Stephen King’s On Writing was my epiphany. Like I mentioned, I had only written reports and research papers in college. New to the Novel-Writing World, I didn’t know the first thing about police investigations. I mean, I’ve watched the crime shows and researched the basics, but my confidence wavered at this daunting new endeavor.
Then, I read this passage, “When you step away from the ‘write what you know’ rule, research becomes inevitable…remember that you are writing a novel not a research paper. The story comes first.”
My whole mindset changed. I was writing about the characters; I just didn’t realize it. So, now, if the procedure sounds plausible and fits into the storyline, I use it. It’s called fiction for a reason, right?
King dishes out great advice, doesn’t he? I have that book but have only skimmed it. I really need to sit down and study it. I love what he said about research and the story. Often I get hung up on that too.
Now five quick questions about what you enjoy:
Favorite season: Autumn in Michigan. The leaves of deep reds and golds are spectacular. I also love that Back-to-School newness of Fall. Although my children are grown, I still buy notebooks, pens, pads, clothes, socks, and shoes. They’re all on sale, and what writer doesn’t need extra notebooks and pens?
Favorite singer: Michael Bublé arouses the romance in my stories.
Favorite comic book character: My husband has an extensive collection so we’ve discussed this at great length. I love Captain America for his patriotism and integrity. And, well, Chris Evans is a hottie.
Sunset picnics or night on the town: We live about thirty minutes from Lake Michigan. Its sunsets are dreamy especially when I’m with my husband, Kraig, who’s my inspiration for everything. Sappy but true.
Favorite social media platform: I’m hooked on Twitter. While following other authors (like Mae Clair), I’ve learned about blogs, book trailers, and virtual book tours. When I first started promoting, those concepts blew my mind. Who knew? I certainly didn’t.
Sometimes, my brain hurts … I know I have so much more to learn.
I hope you enjoy reading Chemical Attraction as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Such fun answers, Christina and I love the romantic responses about your husband. I’m married to my high school sweetheart and can so relate to that soul-mate inspiration/love.
I’ll also agree with you about back-to-school. I think office supplies are pretty much the equivalent of a drug for any writer, and when they’re all displayed so beautifully at this time of year, it’s an instant high. I have to restrain myself from going crazy and buying a lot of things I don’t need just because they look and smell so good, LOL!
Finally, I fully appreciate your comment about so much yet to learn. It seems there is always something new to tackle in the world of promotion and social media. It’s great to have the friendship and support of other authors to help through those learning curves. That’s been invaluable to me.
Thanks again for the blog visit and I wish you the best with the Chemical Attraction Series. I can’t wait for book two!
Chemical Attraction Blurb:
FBI Agent Joe Roberts wants that instant chemistry with a woman like the ones his sisters have with their husbands. After years of searching, he finds it with Dr. Madeline Pierce. The problem—she’s his contact on a dangerous case.
When Madeline discovers an extensive operation of meth production and distribution within her medical research facility, Joe goes undercover as her boyfriend to determine the degree of company involvement. They determine the meth is financing a volatile nano-drug.
The small West Michigan farming town is in turmoil over horrific animal attacks. Someone is experimenting outside the laboratory. Are human test subjects next? With the help of Joe’s sister, Eva, who works at the local clinic, and her law enforcement husband, Matt, Joe and Madeline hunt for this new bio-weapon. Will Joe and Madeline give in to temptation? She thinks he’s playing her like the men from her past. He needs to convince her otherwise.
Her degree in biology from Nazareth College in Kalamazoo gave her a love of science and a background into the physical realm of the body. Her diploma in Traditional Chinese acupuncture from Midwest College of Oriental Medicine taught her that the mind and spirit affect the body in powerful ways.